Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Why Are Working Toilets for Brooklyn School Children a Participatory Budgeting 'Maybe'?

Courtesy NYC Council
In Participatory Budgeting, community members directly decide how to spend roughly $1 million (or more) of their tax dollars.

For seven lucky Brooklyn districts, vote week is April 13 - 17, reports the Brooklyn Eagle.

The process can be used to pay for improvements to schools, sidewalks, community centers and parks, for example.

When checking out the ballots, we were pretty shocked to read that in Councilmember Stephen Levin's booming District 33 (Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights, Downtown, Boerum Hill), schools were begging for funding to provide working toilets for the children (P.S. 38, M.S. 447).

A school in Councilmember Jumaane Williams' District 45 (Midwood, Boro Park and Bensonhurst) also needs money to repair bathrooms, and to move hot radiators out of the bathrooms used by young children for safety reasons.

P.S. 15 and P.S. 94 in Councilmember Carlos Menchaca's Red Hook neighborhood need bathroom renovations "to maintain the hygiene" of the schools.

Since when did functioning public school bathrooms need funding from a participatory budgeting vote?

Shouldn't the upkeep and repair of children's bathrooms be a regular part of the city budget? Kids could get sick!

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